Sunday, 29 December 2013

Senses


Stones and metal
Ashes and dust
Blood and fire
Iron shatters.

Shame and grief
Dirt and discord
Words and thoughts
Cruel actions.

Hands and heart
Taste and vision
Bread and wine
Overflowing oil.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Prism


Meet his eyes
Compelled to love
That transcends expectations
Drawn into unison
So speak to the dead
Look for a sign
To reclaim my inheritance.
Released from bitter condemnation
Everything at once
Committed to seeing
Miraculous words
Spiritual immersion
So step into the light
When grace appears
Without preconceptions
Into an inspiring prism.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Sing by Josh Wilson


The Christmas song comes from Josh Wilson.

This is an excellent song and contains some brilliant truth. The story of Christmas is the story of redemption, freedom, hope and salvation.

The free gift of God, given without measure, requiring us to do nothing but believe and receive all the grace provided.

Love and mercy combined in an infinite act.


  
Every bit of history and every single breath we breathe
Has led us here and brought us to our knees
From carrying the curse we bear and praying that He's heard our prayers
To set us free, oh, set us free
'Cause we could never get back home with broken hearts
So home has come to meet us where we are

So sing God is with us, sing He has come to save us
Sing He will never leave us, glory in the highest
Everybody sing to the One who is our King

He has come to bring redemption to us, God is with us
Glory in the highest, everybody sing
We have found our hope again in the Son of God and Son of Man
This Savior King is changing all we know
By carrying the curse we bear for everybody everywhere
He lived and died and brought us life and we will rise to meet Him in the sky

So sing God is with us, sing He has come to save us
Sing He will never leave us, glory in the highest
Everybody sing to the One who is our King

He has come to bring redemption to us, God is with us
Glory in the highest, everybody sing, everybody sing, sing
Jesus, Jesus, our Emmanuel, God is with us now
Jesus, Jesus, our Emmanuel, God is with us now
'Cause we could never get back home with broken hearts
So home has come to us

Sing God is with us, sing He has come to save us
Sing He will never leave us, glory in the highest
Everybody sing to the One who is our King
He has come to bring redemption to us, God is with us
Glory in the highest, everybody sing
God is with us, sing He has come to save us

Sing He will never leave us, glory in the highest
Everybody sing to the One who is our King
He has come to bring redemption to us, god is with us
Glory in the highest, everybody sing


Sunday, 22 December 2013

Destiny


He was ready
And it wasn't a choice
Gazing into eternity
Gloomy shadow of man.

He danced with flesh
Held this beautiful spirit
Drawn with kindness
Broke through the void.

He was the light
Surrounded by darkness
Moaned in agony
Felt the anger of men.

He called out to me
I heard his voice
Met his blood-red eyes
Realized He was my destiny.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

This Child Is Love


They kneel before him
The finest prize
Born in weakness
With living breath.

The Spirit reached out
Touched the tender cheek
Where sorrow meets hope
This child is love.

If only I understood
A little better
And believed you cared
Safe in your grace.


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Christmas Truce 1914


Private M. L. Walkinton, a 17 year old Rifleman in the Queens Westminster Rifles took part in the famous Christmas Truce in 1914. Reflecting back years later, this is what he has to say about that famous event in his book 'Twice in a Lifetime':-

“On a quiet night, when the trenches were near enough, we used to sing to each other, sometimes alternate verses of the same tune like Hail though one despised Jesus and Deutschland, Deutschland liber alles. They often sang their own words to the tune of God Save the King. Then an officer of one side or the other would come and stop it by ordering a few rounds of fire. We used to be sporting and fire high with the first round – and so did Brother Boche. We used to shout remarks to each other, sometimes rude ones, but generally with less venom in them than a couple of London cabbies after a mild collision……

Well, goodwill and good fellowship at Christmas-time were bred in the bone, so to speak and in spite of orders and warnings one kept thinking about it. The way this Christmas feeling persisted is interesting as one of the few victories of the teaching of the Church over the teaching of the State during the whole war. It persisted with us until the word ‘Truce’ crept into conversation. It grew so strong that not a shot was fired on our bit of front after midnight of December 24th/25th until midnight of December 25th/26th.

It was weird and unearthly for everything to be suddenly still. For some time we were suspicious and careful. We were afraid that some low-down trick might be played upon us by those ‘dirty swine’ (a phrase learned from newspapers printed in the far-off security of England – not our own coining). But after half an hour nothing had happened and both sides started singing carols. We wandered about a bit, rather nervously, on the parapet and shouted across to the Germans, who were doing the same. After a time a German who spoke English came half-way across and offered to meet one of our men to arrange a twenty-four hour truce. One or two bold spirits went out to meet him and they shouted an arrangement for no firing for twenty-four hours. Dawn came and with it a return to nervousness. But no one fired. We exposed ourselves a bit and so did the ‘enemy’ and nothing happened, so everybody got up out of both lots of trenches and walked about and shouted and waved.

Then the men of the opposing sides began to drift towards each other, first as far as the barbed wire and then a few of each side scrambled through. Timidly they approached each other – unarmed, of course - until finally a German and an Englishmen met and shook hands to the sound of a happy little burst of cheering. Within a few seconds hundreds of people were shaking hands, laughing, exchanging drinks of rum and cognac, cigars and cigarettes, chocolate, sausages and so on.

I talked to a German-American who seemed a very pleasant sort of lad. He had never been to England actually, though his ship had anchored off Plymouth. We tried talking war, but I found he was full of newspaper propaganda, as I suppose I was, and we couldn’t make any sense of it. He thought that the Germans had made a successful landing in England and were marching on London. I told him that we were expected to beat Germany by Easter and he roared.

After that I think we talked about food and our respective family histories. He introduced me to his battalion sniper who had just received an Iron Cross from the Kaiser. The sniper showed it to me and seemed very proud of it. I tried to beg it, but he gave me a button of his tunic instead! Several people exchanged addresses and promised to write to each other after the war, but I don’t know if any of them did.

Christmas cards from the King and Queen were handed to every man in the battalion; a greatly appreciated gesture.

At some time during the day I went back to our lines and cooked myself some sausage which I had brought back from a local butchers the night before when on fatigue duty in Chapelle D’Armentieres. There was about eighteen inches of it – they didn’t divide it into ‘links’ like they do in England – and it was rather a disappointment owing to my poor cooking. Just before dusk we all returned to our lines and during the night we were relived by the 1st Royal Fusiliers. My platoon spent the next night or two in comfort in some newly-built and unfurnished workmen’s house in Chapelle. We were dry, we were warm and we had uninterrupted sleep. Bliss again!"

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Angels All Around


Angels all around
As paradise shakes
Transcendent descent
Astonishment!
Emptiness answered
Mystery kissed
Love echoed
A divine spark
Eternal tension
With a flourishing cry
Peace to all men!
You make all things new
A saviour is born
The war is over
Reconciliation. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Our Glorious King by Dave Thorpe



Our most glorious King, who’s robed in splendour,
Is Jesus Christ my great defender.

Angelic beings worship around His throne,
As praise and honour to Him are shown.

Glory to the Lord Most High, the living creatures sing,
While the four and twenty elders, their adoration bring.

This gloriously awesome, holy Son of God,
Took on the form of man, and on the earth He trod.

He came to be a sacrifice, to bear the sin of man,
Lived a holy spotless life, throughout His earthly span.

Took upon Himself our sins, in love He took our place,
So that all may have salvation, throughout the human race.

Just turn to Him and ask, forgiveness from your sin,
And He will grant you your request, and bid you enter in.

So that you may share His glory, be clothed in His great love,
And at His appointed time, you’ll be raised with Him above.

For He will keep His gospel covenant, for it is forever true,
This glorious assurance is sealed for me and you.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Emmanuel by Chris Tomlin


This is one of my favourite Christmas songs, Emmanuel by Chris Tomlin.

The awesome truth that God took on flesh and became man. Breathed the same air as me, walked dusty roads, felt the same sun on his skin, experienced the same dust.

Christ is the hope of nations, the guiding light in the darkness, the answer to all our prayers, the bridge that expands over the void.

He came to dwell, firstly in flesh, then by the Spirit in my flesh.

What a hope, what a guarantee, what a overwhelming union





What hope we hold this starlit night
A King is born in Bethlehem
Our journey long, we seek the light
That leads to the hallowed manger ground
What fear we felt in the silent age
Four-hundred years can He be found
But broken by a baby's cry
Rejoice in the hallowed manger ground

Emmanuel, Emmanuel
God incarnate, here to dwell
Emmanuel, Emmanuel
Praise His name Emmanuel

The son of God, here born to bleed
A crown of thorns would pierce His brow
And we beheld this offering
Exalted now the King of kings
Praise God for the hallowed manger ground

Emmanuel, Emmanuel
God incarnate, here to dwell
Emmanuel, Emmanuel
Praise His name Emmanuel
Oh, praise His name Emmanuel
Oh, praise His name Emmanuel


Songwriters: Christopher Tomlin, Edmond Martin Cash

Sunday, 8 December 2013

A Promise


A promise
A wonder
Sovereign splendor
Heavens brightness.

 Come at last
Here is the seed
Sweet aching toil
Hope richly planted.

Every despair
Bygone grief
In starved desires
Earth bound frame.

The universe understands
Where silence stirs
This is the place
Great mystery revealed.

Friday, 6 December 2013

The Man by Bill Thomas


I had a glimpse of a man in glory,
Resplendent in majesty, seated on a royal throne.
A cross on a hillside, an agonizing death,
Abandoned by God, suffering alone.
I saw a man walking on the street with his friends,
A hesitant woman touching his coat;
Rebuking his disciples, rebuking the waves,
Calming the storm and keeping them afloat.
A man besieged by demons praising the Lord,
Demented swine flying to the sea at his word.
A temple in uproar as he sets about his foes,
Upsetting the tables everywhere he goes.
A girl, still in death, opens her eyes,
A perfumed jar of nard poured upon his feet,
A man, lame from birth, ordered to arise;
A man, just like me, at the mercy seat.
A man seeking righteousness, lamenting at the cost,
A man giving everything to seek and save the lost.
A woman at a well, many a man's wife,
Given living water, drinking everlasting life.
A man, blind from birth, a man with leprous skin,
Healed at a touch,and forgiven for their sin.
Thousands on a hillside, amazement in their eyes,
Pharisees and scribes rejoicing in their lies.
A barbarous crown of thorns, a cruel cross of wood;
Angels stand in silence, hardly understood,
A tomb lying empty. Rolled away, the stone,
Now seated in glory, this man upon his royal throne.

By Bill Thomas

                                                               

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Welcome To Our World by Michael W. Smith



The wonder of Christmas is the glorious gift of Christ.

God entered this world, took on our flesh, felt our pain, experienced our frailty, cried our tears, dwelt with man.

He became our healing.
He became our salvation.
He became our manna,
He became our new wine.
He became our communion with the father.

Michael W. Smith captures this beautifully in Chris Rice’s song, Welcome to our world.


  


Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You've been promised, we've been waiting
Welcome Holy Child
Welcome Holy Child

Hope that you don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long awaited Holy Stranger
Make yourself at home
Please make yourself at home

Bring your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
World now breaking Heaven's silence
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Forgotten Heroes - Sergeant George Howell. V.C.



Sergeant George Julian (Snowy) Howell VC MM, 1st Battalion, AIF.

Sgt Howell was awarded the Victoria Cross as a Corporal (Cpl) for "conspicuous bravery" on 6 May 1917, near Bullecourt, France.

Cpl Howell climbed on...to the top of a parapet and under heavy fire proceded to bomb the enemy, pressing them back along the trench. After he exhausted his stock of bombs, he continued to attack the enemy with his bayonet, before being severely wounded.

A month before this action he was awarded the Military Medal "for courage and devotion to duty while leading a rifle bombing section" during the battalion's capture of the village of Demicourt.

He returned to Australia and was discharged on 5 June 1918.

He later served as a Staff Sergeant at Headquarters, Eastern Command, during the Second World War before joining the United States Sea Transport Service in August 1944. Note he has three wound stripes on his left sleeve

Monday, 2 December 2013

In Christ by Joseph Prince



Ephesians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
I remember going through a terrible time of depression when I was 18 years old. Believing that I was demon-possessed, I sought out a great man of God to have him cast the devil out of me. But when this man of God laid hands on me, he began to prophesy over me. He said, “Joe, I see you preaching to thousands and used by God to impact thousands of lives. Joe, you are called by God and the devil is attempting to stop you.”
“What? I came here for deliverance! I am only interested in saving my own life, not preaching nor impacting lives,” I thought to myself then.
You see, what happened was that at that moment, God allowed this man to step into the timeless zone He exists in to bring my future before me. As far as God was concerned, my future had already happened, though I was only 18 years old then. Today, I am a pastor of a church which has more than 30,000 members. Today, I am seeing what was told to me long ago.
God does not see as we see. Abraham was a childless, 100-year-old man. His wife, Sarah, at 90 years old, was doubly dead in her womb. (Genesis 17:17) Yet, God saw him and talked to him as if he were already the father of many nations.
My friend, God wants you to see the way He sees. Right now, you may see yourself going through a trial in your marriage, work, finances or health. But God sees a blessed marriage, success at work, supernatural provision and a healed body because He tells you that you are already blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
You see, God sees you in Christ. So when you see yourself in Christ, who is outside time, you step into the timeless zone. In that timeless zone in Christ, whatever needs and trials of yours are already removed, repaired, restored or resurrected! In that timeless zone in Christ, you are already blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

In The Shade


Secluded
Hidden in the shadows
Enchanted
In the shade
My protection

Standing alone
Twisted darkness
Scaled and broken
Needing to be
Secure and protected.

My confessional

I stand in the stillness
Holding images and words
Held and kept and treasured within
Like precious stones
Haunting my past

Black seriousness demanded.

The forest ends
Memories depart
My future
Molded with prayer

My attention
Scaled and aware
Illuminated

Alight with the Divine

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Always....


Always God is good

Always God makes me happy and produces surrendered joy

Always live by my new nature

Always live by God’s desire

Always walk in the Spirit’s covenant

Always remind myself of the finished work of Christ

Always declare that I am the righteousness of God

Always see his ridiculous, scandalous grace

Always all righteousness, life and goodness are found in him

Always let my heart be overwhelmed by my outrageous oneness in Christ

Always declare my absolute forgiveness

Always incline my ear to God’s word

Always I am immersed into Christ

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Forgotten Heroes - Sub Lieutenant Roderick Dallas. D.S.O., D.S.C.


Sub Lieutenant Roderick Stanley (Stan) Dallas, No 1 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) in the cock-pit of his aircraft.

Born in Queensland, Dallas sailed to England at the start of the First World War, seeking flight training and after being accepted into the RNAS, was commissioned as a Flight Sub Lieutenant, joining No 1 Squadron in December 1915.

During his service on the Western Front, in 1916 and 1917, he proved himself as an exceptional pilot and on 14 June 1917 he was made Commanding Officer of his Squadron. In 1918 after the amalgamation of the two air services to form the Royal Air Force (RAF), he was transferred to 40 Squadron RAF and held the rank of Major. ...

While on a reconnaissance operation, Dallas was struck with 3 bullets to his leg, after his safe return to base he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) having already been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) and Bar and the French award, the Croix de Guerre and Palm.

Major Dallas was killed in action on 1 June 1918, aged 26, while engaged in combat with Fokker Triplanes over France and is buried at PĂ©rnes British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Major Dallas is officially credited with shooting down thirty nine enemy aircraft.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

From A Park Bench - My Adoption Papers


Ephesians 1:5
‘He predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.’

At work I have been in the process of upgrading our internet banking system, the helpful bank consultant took time with me explaining the alterations that would be put in place and confirmed all the critical information. It was an almost painless initial information gathering session and at its conclusion, he informed me that I would be receiving all the relevant paperwork which he would prepare for me. All that I need to do is read it, check it, sign and return it.

Before the world was created and before light was created, God had written and completed all my adoption papers, signed them, sealed them and kept them in his safe keeping.

There they waited, for Christ to come and die for me, because he took my place, all my sin, sickness, depression, shame, separation, so I could receive all His goodness,

And when I believed in Christ I was crucified with Christ because Christ died As me. I died with Christ, I was buried with Christ and I was resurrected In Christ and now I am a new creation and Christ lives and works inside and through me.

My adoption was made complete In Christ, but only when I believed and received His righteousness.

Now the adoption has been accepted I can never be separated from all the blessings that God has freely given me. He is mine and I am his, eternally and my adoption is complete.

Monday, 25 November 2013

The full revelation of what the Cross accomplished by Kris Vallotton




The full revelation of what the Cross accomplished in history is so dynamic that those who experience it are literally translated from the province of bondage to the gates of “Graceland”. Leaving the old country of death and despair behind, these folks come into the new world of mercy and hope. The people who successfully leave the old paradigm and begin to live in this new reality are those who understand that there is a dramatic difference between the ministry of the Old Covenant and the supernatural ministry of the New Covenant. While the ministry of both covenants is marked by divine demonstrations of power, the driving purpose behind these displays is completely different. 

Christians who come to the shores of this new world, called the Kingdom, but persist in walking in judgment have brought the stone tablets of the old country with them. These folks have a B.C. mindset—they understand the fact that sin requires judgment, but fail to realize that the wrath of God poured out on the Cross of Christ quenched the fires of judgment, unlocking the treasure of mercy in the heart of God Himself. People who don’t believe that the blood of Jesus altered Heaven’s perspective towards this planet scare me! They create a schizophrenic culture because they bring the cold steel values of the Old Covenant into their grace-filled life in Christ. This usually results in a strange mixture of judgment and mercy that is not only confusing but is also self-mutilating, faultfinding and often downright heartless.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Held and Kept



It is an awesome thing
That God is our shepherd
And we are his sheep
He always speaks
The truth of promise into our hearts
I know His voice
A quiet whisper
A gentle message of love
Then as I dwell, meditate
In his presence, spirit
Depression, trouble,
Stress, status,
Are lost at the cross.
A bruised and broken life
Made new by His Spirit
And where He is
I am safe and warm
Held and kept
By His power
Alive inside
He is always here.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

When Did The New Covenant Start by Zach Langhamer


When did the new covenant start?
- When Jesus died, not when Jesus was born.


"For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives." - Hebrews 9:17


So what covenant was still in effect while Jesus was alive teaching and preaching?- The old covenant


Does that mean we lump everything Jesus said and did into an "old" category that doesn't touch the new?- No, we don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Neither do we administer certain medicine for one person's sickness to another without that sickness.

Jesus was the master physician and knew the entire purpose of the law was to break anyone of their self-righteousness so that they would cry out for a savior - it was the schoolmaster that pointed us to our need for Christ. (Gal 3:24)


So you see Jesus doing 2 things during his ministry:


1) Raising the standard of an already unkeepable law (613 commandments) to the very thoughts & intents of hearts. Pharisees thought if they never murdered, they were righteous, Jesus raises it and says if you are angry, you're a murderer. If you lust, you're an adulterer. You're only forgiven if you forgive. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off (this one gets washed over as hyperbole and exaggeration.)


What is he doing? Bringing the law back to its pristine standard and purpose - the intention of God was never that men keep the law - it was to break anyone of their ability to trust themselves - it was perfect medicine for the self-righteous heart so that the new covenant of grace would be received with humility, not with entitlement.


2) Ministering grace, love, unconditional forgiveness & acceptance to those who were already humbled, & broken. The woman caught in the act of adultery - by standards of the law was to be stoned, but Mr. Grace (Jesus) showed her grace & chased away every condemning voice against her. It was in this pure environment of no condemnation (no law but grace) she was empowered to go and sin no more.

The stories continue with lepers, tax collectors, cheats, the low caste of society - he had a much different message for them - the lost coin, the lost sheep, the prodigal son, than he did for the self righteous.


Was Jesus mixing covenants?- No, he preached law to those whom it was made for - the self-righteous, and prophesied of the grace that was to come after his death for those who were already broken. God in Christ was resisting the proud (law), and giving grace to the humble. (James 4:6) , What he taught his disciples was notably different than what he spoke against Pharisees. That comforts me.

Concerning responsibility for sin - if we are conditionally forgiven based on our forgiveness of others - I find it funny that Paul never once mentions it. Yet there are a whole slew of scriptures that attest to all of our sins being laid upon Christ - past present and future, and all sin being forgiven by God in Christ. My present position is that God has imputed all of my sin upon Christ with all of sin's punishment, wrath etc.. and IF I do sin, then my job is to get my eyes back on Jesus, not focus on my sin. Holy Spirit convicts me of righteousness, not sin. God has promised me under the main clause of the new covenant:

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." - Hebrews 8:12


The hot point of this statement makes people assume one is giving license to sin & they can just go do whatever they want if you tell people all of their sins are forgiven (even future sins)


*If that is all that you preach - unconditional forgiveness - that Jesus died for you (took all of your sin) and you DON'T preach the other half - that Jesus died as you (your old sinful self is dead and the new you is resurrected in Christ with a new clean, sinless nature) - then yes, you are setting people up to fall into licentiousness.


The message of finished works is 2-fold:


1) Jesus died for you (took all of your sin, sickness, poverty, shame etc..) so you could have all of his good


2) Jesus died as you (included you in his death, burial and resurrection to kill the old man and resurrect you into new life with a new heart and a new spirit - his law already written on your heart.)


Without both sides of this message - the grace covenant will continue to get discredited by preaching the incomplete gospel and creating grace hippies that don't know they have a new set of desires conducive with their new nature. Or we create people who know their old life is dead - but still relate to God on a performance-based relationship instead of grace-based where we "earn" (for lack of a better word) blessing from him rather than receive freely, and steward well in thanksgiving.


I'm so sorry this is so long. For sake of explanation on some of the above stuff I included a link to notes I made of a word I taught with a lot more scriptural references concerning law & grace, distinguishing covenants, and our role in them if anyone is interested.
http://tiny.cc/lawvsgrace

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Forgotten Heroes - Captain George Wilkins M.C & Bar


Captain George Hubert Wilkins awarded bar to Military Cross.

Captain G H Wilkins, official AIF photographer, rallies United States troops at the battle of the Hindenburg Line, while taking photographs. For this action he was awarded a bar to his Military Cross, becoming the only Australian official photographer to be decorated for bravery in the field.

George Wilkins, explorer, war photographer and cinematographer, was born on 31 October 1888 at Mount Bryan East in South Australia. He studied electrical engineering at the South Australian School of Mines, mechanical engineering at the University of Adelaide and music at the University of Adelaide's Elder Conservatorium. At the same time he developed a keen interest in photography and cinematography.

In 1908 he moved to England to work for the Gaumont Film Company as a 'cinematographic cameraman'. Soon afterwards he began work as a reporter for the London Daily Chronicle, travelling to report on events overseas. He learned to fly and take aerial photographs and, in 1912, he left England to report on the Balkan War, becoming the first person to take motion pictures in the front line of a war zone. In 1913 he accepted a place on a Canadian Arctic expedition and was still there in 1916 when he first heard that the world was at war.

On returning to Australia he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Australian Flying Corps but was prevented from operational flying because of colour blindness. In July 1917 he was appointed as an official photographer with the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and reached the Western Front in time to photograph the Australians during the Passchendaele campaign. By mid 1918, now a captain, he was given command of No. 3 (Photographic) Sub-Section of the Australian War Records unit. More adventurer than photographer, Wilkins was sometimes a participant in, as well as an observer of, war. In June 1918 he was awarded the Military Cross for helping wounded under fire and, in September, earned a bar to the award for leading a group of inexperienced American soldiers through a dangerous action. He is the only Australian official photographer to have been decorated.

In January 1919 Wilkins travelled to the Gallipoli Peninsula as a photographer with the Australian Historical Mission under the official historian, Charles Bean. His appointment with the AIF ended on 7 September 1920.

In later life Wilkins set out to explore the Arctic by air and flew from Alaska to Norway, for which he was knighted. Wilkins won a number of awards for his pioneering exploration work. In November 1928 and January 1929 he explored the Antarctic by air, and in the 1930s, made five further expeditions to the Antarctic. In 1931 he unsuccessfully attempted to take a First World War submarine, the Nautilus, under the Arctic ice to the North Pole. He subsequently worked in defence-related positions with the US Weather Bureau and the Arctic Institute of North America.

Wilkins died on 30 November 1958 in Framingham, Massachusetts. He was so highly regarded in the United States that his ashes were scattered at the North Pole by the crew of an American nuclear submarine. His output is represented in the Australian War Memorial collection by eight films and hundreds of photographs from the First World War.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

From A Park Bench - God Chose Me In Christ


Every promise of God finds its completion In Christ. God chose me to be holy and blameless in Him before the foundation of the world and before I had done a single thing to earn it but rather through his glorious grace in which he makes me acceptable to himself. It was predestined that Christ would be the cause of my adoption not me.

God predestined me to relate to him by his righteousness and not my own. Before time God chose me. In time he justified me. After time he will glorify me. Neither my adoption, justification nor my glorification has anything to do with me. Only God can qualify me. The only thing I am called to do is have faith in Jesus and that faith is a gift given to me by God, I did not even have it. Faith is just my positive response to all God has provided for me by grace.

God called me to him because I was incapable of qualifying myself to respond by faith, it was all His ability to qualify me. Because he called me in Christ and He justified me In Christ, I will be glorified because I am In Christ. Likewise, those people who trust in their own self-efforts to be qualified will be lost for eternity.

I am now filled with the sunlight of God’s grace. God delights in me  because he sees Christ in me, I am the apple of my fathers eye and the joy of his heart. As a chosen child of God I have all the riches and glory of heaven living now inside of me. The overflowing waterfall of all heavens grace flows and cascades over every part of my life.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Grace Notes - Matthew 26:28


Matthew 26:28  "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
The amazing, wonderful reality of the New Covenant  is that God has now come to live inside man. We have access to God through Christ every second we live. As long as we breathe we can touch and know the presence of God.

Jesus will never leave us, by the Holy Spirit he is interwoven into our Spirit and Christ in all his fullness dwells within us.

We are never alone, we are never separated, the only barrier to living in the fullness of Christ is us. It is all there for us to receive and live in but it is limited by our response to his grace. God will not force himself upon us the more we enjoy, revel and depend upon his grace the more it will overflow out of our lives.

As Andrew Wommack explains the New Covenant is all about what God has done for us and made available to us.  

The principle of the Old Covenant was "do" and you shall live. The principle of the New Covenant is "it is done," and includes redemption, reconciliation, righteousness, and sanctification. The work is finished! We are complete in Him!

If the Old Covenant had no defects, there would have been no attempt to institute another (Heb. 8:7). In the Old Covenant, men found themselves unable to abide in its agreement, for it was based upon a man's performance.

The new agreement, however, is based totally upon God's grace. Under the Old Covenant, men approached God through a priest, while under the New Covenant, we have direct access to the Father through Jesus Christ. Under the Old Covenant, a man's sin led to his death while under the New Covenant, God is merciful to our unrighteousness. Under the Old Covenant, man could not be cleansed of a consciousness of sin while under the New Covenant, our sins and iniquities are remembered no more, and our guilty consciences are cleansed.

Prior to salvation we are incomplete and there is a constant striving in every person to satisfy their hunger. Through the new birth we are complete in Christ and our hunger now should only be for more revelation of what we already have in Christ.

In the same way that Jesus had the fullness of God in Him, we also have the fullness of Christ in us. That makes us complete or perfect in Him,  that is speaking of our spiritual man. Our born-again spirit is identical in righteousness, authority, and power to Christ's spirit, because our born-again spirit is the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9). It has been sent into our hearts crying "Abba Father" (Gal. 4:6).

Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Bride by Bill Thomas



As clear as crystal and shining like jasper,
She comes to take her place.
How long has she waited, how long has she yearned
To see her bridegroom’s face.
Her beauty like diamonds, her purity clear,
She waits for Him to appear;
No longer in thrall to the confines of earth,
For she’s waited many a year.

But who is this bride, this beauteous one,
Who waits for her suitor with pride?
Who is this queen, this princess of grandeur,
Who takes her place at His side?
She’s the true bride of Christ, she is every believer
 Made new in the Saviour‘s own blood;
Now gathered together, their lives changed forever,
As His mercy came in like a flood.

She is you, she is me, she is my family,
She’s that  girl with the long, curly hair,
She’s that man in the pulpit, that woman in tears,
That young man on his knees deep in prayer.
Every tongue, every nation takes part in her station,
And none her honour can smirch,
Her righteousness safe in the true arms of faith,
For she now dwells in Christ;  she’s The Church.

By Bill Thomas
                                             

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Wonderful Grace


Helpless to raise, ungodly my heart
Drawing of favour, daily the mercy
The endless grace freely given.

So take his love
With undeserved heart, in our sin
He took my place, act of free grace

You the unqualified, rebellious and dirty,
Qualify by his grace,

There his salvation, his love, his atonement,
And his precious blood poured for me
And his life forever given

Unconditional love, undeserved and free,

Found in Christ, wonderful grace.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Already.....


Already he has poured out all that heaven has to offer

Already I have died and am one with Christ

Already I am seated with Christ in heavenly places

Already I have access to an open heaven

Already His breath fills my lungs

Already His life flows through my veins

Already He animates my heart, gives it life and vitality

Already He has provided by His grace everything I need before I needed it

Already He forgave all my sins before I exisited

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Forgotten Heroes - John Dwyer. V.C.



Sergeant John James Dwyer, 4th Machine Gun Company, Victoria Cross action at Zonnebeke, Belgium.

Jack Dwyer was born at Lovett (now Cygnet) Tasmania. He enlisted in early 1915 and served on Gallipoli with the 15th Battalion. In 1916 he went to France with the 4th Machine Gun Company.

Next year on 26 September 1917, during the battle of Polygon Wood (Zonnebeke, Belgium), Dwyer's Vickers machine-gun team came under fire until he rushed his gun forward, and at point-blank range put the enemy gun out of action. He then took both weapons and helped repulse a German counter-attack. Later, after his Vickers was blown up by shellfire, he led his team back through the enemy barrage to secure another and then bring it into action. At all times, he showed "contempt of danger, cheerfulness and courage"....

Dwyer was commissioned in May 1918 and returned to Australia five months later. Back in Tasmania, he became active in local affairs and politics. He established a sawmilling business at New Norfolk. In 1931 he entered state parliament and eventually held several important offices, including that of deputy premier.

Dwyer received the Victoria Cross, service medals for the First World War and coronation medals for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Armistice Day - A Letter from A Father To A Son


Whilst looking for information on Private Sidney Long, I discovered this letter held at the Australian National Archives which was written to Private Roy Long (Sidney’s brother) by their father.

The letter is dated 14th January 1915, Roy Long joined up on 24th March 1915. He was killed in action on 29th July 1916 whilst serving with the 28th Battalion aged 20.

It is a remarkable letter:

Dear Roy

Just a line to you to let you know how I and mother are getting on, have you enlisted if not you had better do so at once you are doing your duty and fighting for your country. So Roy do what I tell you join the Forces at once it will make a man of you and me and mum will be much pleased of you. Things are looking very great over here, Fred is going to enlist very shortly and so would I if I was a bit younger, if you can’t pass let me know. Make up your mind and be a man and we will think a lot of you. We aint going to stop you from going to the front.
Best love from your loving father and mother.



Sunday, 10 November 2013

Remembrance Week - Bullets by Edward Dyson




BULLETS

As bullets come to us they're thin,
They're angular, or smooth and fat,
Some spiral are, and gimlet in,
And some are sharp, and others flat.
The slim one pink you clean and neat,
The flat ones bat a solid blow
Much as a camel throws his feet,
And leave you beastly incomplete.
If lucky you don't know it through.

The flitting bullets flow and flock;
They twitter as they pass;
They're picking at the solid rock,
They're rooting in the grass.
A tiny ballet swiftly throws
Its gossamer of rust,
Brown fairies on their little toes
A-dancing in the dust.

You cower down when first they come
With snaky whispers at your ear;
And when like swarming bees they hum
You know the tinkling chill of fear.
A whining thing will pluck your heel,
A whirring insect sting your shin;
You shrink to half your size, and feel
The ripples o'er your body seal-
'Tis terror walking in your skin!

The bullets pelt like winter hail,
The whistle and they sigh,
They shrill like cordage in a gale,
Like mewing kittens cry;
They hiss and spit, they purring come;
Or, silent all a span,
They rap, as on a slackened drum,
The dab that kills a man.

Rage takes you next. All hot your face
The bitter void, and curses leap
From pincered teeth. The wide, still space
Whence all these leaden devil's sweep
Is Tophet. Fiends by day and night
Are groping for your heart to sate
In blood their diabolic spite.
You shoot in idiot delight,
Each winging slug a hymn of hate.

The futile bullets scratch and go,
They chortle and the coo.
I laugh my scorn, for now I know
The thing they cannot do.
They flit like midges in the sun,
But howso thick they be
What matter, since there is not one
That God has marked for me!

An Eastern old philosophy
Come home at length and passion stills-
The thing will be that is to be,
And all must come as Heaven wills.
Where in the swelter and the flame
The new, hot, shining bullets drip;
One in the many has an aim,
Inwove a visage and a name-
No man may give his fate the slip!

The bullets thrill along the breeze,
They drum upon the bags,
They tweak your ear, your hair they tease,
And peck your sleeve to rags.
Their voices may no more annoy-
I chortle at the call:
The bullet that is mine, my boy,
I shall not hear at all!

The war's a flutter very like
The tickets that we took from Tatt.
Quite possibly I'll make a strike;
The odds are all opposed to that.
Behind the dawn the Furies sway
The mighty globe from which to get
Those bullets which throughout the day
Will winners be to break or slay.
I have not struck a starter yet

The busy bullets rise and flock;
They whistle as they pass;
They're chipping at the solid rock,
They're skipping in the grass.
Out there the tiny dancers throw
Their sober skirts of rust,
Brown flitting figures tipping toe
Along the golden dust.

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